Hobby Master HG4105 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
On December 22nd, 1941, the German Weapons Department was ordered to produce an effective self-propelled anti-tank gun for use on the Eastern front. The Czechoslovakian 38(t) chassis was used as the basis for the vehicle. The gun and carriage (without the wheels) was mounted on top of the superstructure using a special mounting plate. It was shaped like a bridge and was bolted to the roof in the front and rear. The gun shield moved with the gun, but the sides were fixed to help protect the crew. The driver and radio operator sat in the front of the hull. Behind them were three ammunition boxes that held 24 rounds. There were two ammunition boxes mounted on the side walls of the superstructure, which contained 12 rounds.
Originally designated the
Panzerselbstfahrlafette 2 x 7.62 cm PaK 36, Hitler changed its name to Marder III on February 27th, 1944. Production started on March 24th, 1942 at the Bahmisch-Mahrische Maschinenfabrik AG factory in Prague. Initial output was set at 17 vehicles per month, with a target of 30 per month. By May 15th, 1942, 120 had been produced, and another 100 were ordered. These were produced from June to September 1942.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of a German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H tank destroyer w/ PaK36 anti-tank gun that was attached to an unidentified unit then serving on the eastern front during the summer of 1943.
Release Date: July 2012
Historical Account: "The Eastern Bulge" - The Battle of Kursk, also called Unternehmen Zitadelle by the German Army (Operation Citadel), took place from July 4th, 1943 to August 23rd, 1943, represented a significant defensive battle strategy on the Soviets' part during World War II. Having good intelligence on Hitler's intentions, the Soviets established and managed to conceal elaborate layered defense works, mine fields, and stage and disguise large reserve forces poised for a tactical and strategic counter-attack end game typical of defensive battle plans. Overall, the campaign, which included the famous sub-battle at and for Prokhorovka, remains the largest armored engagement of all time, and included the most costly single day of aerial warfare in history.
Though the Germans planned and initiated an offensive strike, the well planned Soviet defense not only managed to frustrate their ambitions but also launched a successful counter-offensive and exhausted the German abilities in the theatre thereby seizing the initiative for the remainder of the war. In that sense it may be seen as phase II of the turning point in the front that began with the German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad, which aftermath set the table by establishing the 'Kursk Salient', the reduction of which was the objective of the German armies entering July. The subsequent counter attacks retook Oryol (August 5th), Belgorod (August 5th) and Kharkov (August 23rd), pushing back the Germans across a broad front, the first successful major Soviet Summer offensive of the War.
Kursk further demonstrated that the conflict in the East contained the largest scale of warfare in history, in terms of manpower involved. So well designed was the Soviet defensive planning, that when entering the archetypical counterattack phase, the Soviets were able to attack along four separate axes of advance, and execute a planned stop at a phase line, thus avoiding the pitfalls of over-extending during the counter attack and earning this battle's deserved place as a model campaign in war college curricula.